A Look At Osso & Kristalla – TheDrunkenDiva.com
Last week members of the Houston Food Blogger Collective were invited to take a sneak peek at Astros owner Jim Crane’s newest Italian eatery, Ossa & Kristalla. The casual sister restaurant toPotente opened to the public this past weekend. Both restaurants are overseen by executive chef Michael Parker and feature modern Italian fare.
Ossa & Kristalla is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The menu focuses on fresh, local ingredients and large portions that encourage sharing. Bread, pastas and pastries are all made in-house. Lunch includes salads, sandwiches, pasta and wood-fired pizzas.
The rustic dining room at Osso & Kristalla features an open kitchen which allows diners to be part of the action. The restaurant has an extensive, yet reasonably priced wine list as well cocktails. The Quattro Formaggi pizza, Rigatoni and Meatball pasta and Arancini were my favorite dishes of the night.
Our final treat for the evening was a quick look at the upscale Potente. A laid back bar is connected to the elegant dining space. The bar features several signature cocktails and a variety of Campari and Gin based drinks. Open for dinner only, the menu at Potente includes daily seafood selections, pastas and steaks.
HOUSTON ASTROS OWNER JIM CRANE OPENS POTENTE AND OSSO & KRISTALLA DOWNTOWN – BrunchandConversation.com
Potente and Osso & Kristalla are the newest additions to the downtown dining scene. They come to us from Astros team owner Jim Crane who looks to help guests create memorable moments with family through dining. The restaurants, named after Crane’s children, are located at the ground floor of the new luxury apartments a short walk from Minute Maid park.
The Houston Food Blogger Collective was invited to have an inside peak into these two beautiful restaurants. Our dining experience took place at Osso & Kristalla, which is more on the casual trattoria side. The trattoria features an open kitchen, allowing guests to get a peak of the kitchen action. As you walk through both locations, you’ll most likely notice their ceramic tile and patterned walls. From their cubic, to brown, grey and black tiles to the patterned walls in both restaurants. Either way, as you move from casual Osso & Kristilla to sophisticated Potente, you’ll feel the mood and ambiance change.
|Margherita Pizza: Roma Tomato sauce, Buffalo Mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, oregano and basil. THE BEST MARGHERITA I HAVE EVER HAD! The dough is perfection and it has just the right amount of cheese and sauce.|
Executive Chef Michael Parker and Chef de cuisine Micah Rideout, treated us to a night we won’t forget. Serving dishes from their Olive and anchovy croissants(on the same addiction level as Chips & Salsa), to their iceberg lettuce topped with bacon, to Chicken skewers, steak with purple kale and house-made pizzas. And let’s not forget the bar staff, who treated us to deliciously smooth frozen negroni, perfect for these hot winter days and their ” Dante’s Inferno” cocktail demonstration.
|Dante’s Inferno: Great combination of spicy and sweet, not for the faint-hearted.|
Osso& Kristalla is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner; Potente opens everyday after 5pm. My dining style leans more to the Osso & Kristilla trattoria, so I cannot wait to come back for stuffed croissants, pizza, dessert and a some nice cocktails.
ASTROS OWNER JIM CRANE OPENS TWO NEW RESTAURANTS IN DOWNTOWN HOUSTON – NewsWithAttitude.com
HOUSTON — Guests were invited on Sunday to sample light bites and enjoy cocktails at the soft opening of two fantastic new restaurants, owned by Houston Astros owner Jim Crane. Osso & Kristalla is a casual trattoria located next door to Potente, an upscale dining establishment in downtown Houston. The names of the restaurants are references to the Crane’s three children, translated in Italian.
Osso & Kristalla features an open kitchen which brings diners closer to the action to engage them with the food and the environment. The soft, rustic space boasts a neutral, Italian aesthetic with a playful and casual feel that transfers to an outdoor patio – the perfect place for diners to soak in lively downtown Houston.
The restaurant will open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner and serve brunch on Saturday and Sunday. All bread, pasta and pastries will be homemade and served alongside Houston’s own Katz Coffee. Lunch offers sandwiches, salads and wood-fired pizzas, perfect for the downtown business person. At dinner the space transforms into a modern, yet relaxed lounge atmosphere with casual Italian fare, a full bar and all wine served by the glass.
The culinary team will be led by Executive Chef Michael Parker, Chef de Cuisine Micah Rideout and Executive Pastry Chef David Berg, the same team that oversees Potente.
Executive Chef Michael Parker has close to three decades of culinary experience and also oversees dining operations at Crane’s exclusive club in Florida, Floridian National Golf Club. Born in England, Parker worked with the famous Roux Brothers at The Waterside Inn a three-star Michelin restaurant outside of London. He received his culinary degree at Bournemouth and Poole College in Dorset, England in 1987. In addition to Parker’s appointment at The Waterside Inn, his career has included time at The Club at Carlton Woods, The Lodge at Sea Island, Century Plaza Hotel and Tower, Caesars Palace and Gallagher’s Steak House in Las Vegas. He has also cooked for former Presidents Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Obama, as well as the Queen of England, Prince Phillip and the Queen Mother. Chef Parker’s culinary vision will bring a new level of luxury to the Houston restaurant scene.
[Click first photo to activate slideshow..Beware the food is AH-MAZING!!!]
Chef de Cuisine Micah Rideout comes to the restaurants with over a decade of high-end experience and a passion for taking diners on a unique culinary journey. He most recently served as Chef de Cuisine at Reef Restaurant and KUU Modern Japanese Restaurant. Rideout previously served as Executive Chef at Tarakaan Asian Restaurant, Executive Sous Chef at the JW Marriott Houston Downtown and also as Sous Chef at The Inn at Dos Brisas –a Relais & Chateaux property.
Executive Pastry Chef David Berg has over 35 years of culinary experience in Los Angeles and Houston as a chef, pastry chef and artisan bread expert. Berg most recently served as Executive Pastry Chef at Tony’s Restaurant and Phoenicia Specialty Foods. Previously Berg served as Chef de Cuisine at Kiran’s Restaurant and was Director of Operations and Partner at Mi Luna Tapas Restaurant and Bar. He also owned and operated two successful bakeries in California, Café Opera & Bakery and Naturally David’s Bakery & Catering.
Bill Floyd oversees the operations for both restaurants. Floyd, a Jean Georges Vongerichten alumnus, brings decades of high-end hospitality experience to the new restaurants. He is also owner of Jackson Street BBQ and co-owner of Reef, Third Bar, Little Bigs and El Real Tex Mex.
Fore more information, visit the website at www.ossoandkristalla.com.
Potente, the upscale sister restaurant, is located next door to Osso & Kristalla. Its interior is evocative of a luxurious Italian villa with a modern twist, featuring a spacious bar, magnificent main dining space, private room and a special chef’s table in the wine room. Potente is open nightly at 5 p.m. and accepts reservations For more information, visit the website at www.potentehouston.com.
Conceived and brought to life by Astros owner Jim Crane, the restaurants sit side by side and are located across from Minute Maid Park, home of baseball’s Houston Astros.
Potente is an upscale, luxurious, Italian-villa inspired dinner destination.
Sister restaurant Osso & Kristalla is a bright, cheerful, casual trattoria that is open all day.
Where Potente wows with its swanky, over the top sophistication, Osso & Kristalla invites you in to relax in its easy going, rustic, yet modern interior.
I was invited with the Houston Food Blogger Collective to a ‘First Look’ event to get a glimpse of all of the glamour and Italian deliciousness. While the restaurants are a study in contrasts – Potente which oozes romance and elegance and Osso & Kristalla which beckons to chill with a group of friends – the similarities that bind them are high quality, local ingredients and a commitment to making the customer feel at home with great service.
The menu at Potente sets the stage for a truly fine-dining experience and features a compact selection of seafood and homemade pastas, as well as beef, duck, and lamb. The more casual menu at Osso & Kristalla offers up delicious pizzas, pastas, salads, and Italian Secondi with a modern twist. And because the restaurants are so new, diners can expect to menus to evolve given customers reactions and input.
Some tasty highlights of the evening included:
Arancinis with marinara were drool worthy and a perfect start to the evening.
As was this beef carpaccio on a bread stick.
The Salads – they were truly a thing a beauty and so artfully presented. While the kale salad with apple, pancetta, pine nuts, ricotta and preserved lemon dressing as well as the Caesar salads were fantastic in their own right, this steak salad definitely stole the show.
The pizzas with fresh ingredients and toppings were top notch, but the perfectly executed crusts – crispy on the outside with a light and fluffy softness on the inside – were the perfect base for the authentic Italian style pizzas. This pizza is the real deal.
Entrees of note included:
Italian BBQ Shrimp with Giant Couscous, Sundried Tomato, and Almond.
This amazing Rigatoni & Meatball stuffed with Fontina. Seriously delicious meatball.
And this juicy Roasted Chicken.
The evening ended on a fittingly sweet note. While pastry chef David Berg indicated that the dessert menu was still being tweaked, these Tiramisu bites were absolutely divine! If they make it on to the menu, get the chocolate. Really.
Because this is a wine blog. And while foodies will for sure swoon over the menu, wine enthusiasts are sure to love the wine selection for what it has and does not have. Both restaurants feature a large selection of Italian wines (about 65% is made up of Italian wines), as well as a selection of French, Spanish, and California wines amongst others. But what is missing are the oft seen, and much maligned, high restaurant markups. Osso & Kristalla and Potente will sell wine at blessedly low markups (think Clark Cooper’s Ibiza, Brasserie 19, and SaltAir; Underbelly; or Reef). The goal? To have the customer not be afraid to truly explore the wine list. And – to make them want to come back and try more.
Even though the restaurants will share the same focus on Italian wines and favorable pricing, the menus themselves will be quite different. Osso & Kristalla will feature around 50 wines, all by the glass, with the goal that most wines sell for under $50. Want a $50 Barolo? You’ll be able to get one at Osso. Additionally, Osso will feature wines that are more recognizable to the average consumer and that will sell themselves.
Potente on the other hand will have wines that generally start at the $50 price range and go up from there. The restaurant will also utilize the Coravin system to showcase some truly special wines. The wine collection at Potente is still being assembled, but the goal is to offer around 300 wines. And if you want to dine surrounded by the nectar of the Gods, reserve the restaurant’s Wine Room, which is the actual cellar and seats eight.
So whether you choose to dine at Osso or Potente, wine lovers can expect great things from this fantastic addition to the Houston wine scene. And no worries if you’re dining at Osso on this fabulous patio and want a bottle of some high-end juice on the Potente list as they will bring one right over for you.
Rejoice Houston wine lovers!
February’s Culinary Picks – Osso & Kristalla and Potente – Yo Mariana – A Houston Lifestyle Bilingual Blog
Jim Crane, the owner of the Houston Astros delights us with the opening of two new restaurants in Downtown, Osso & Kristalla and Potente. Both are located just a block away from Minute Maid Park and you must go try them both.
The innovative architecture and decoration of both restaurants enhance the corner of Texas Avenue and Crawford Street with two very interesting Italian proposals – A casual trattoria called Osso & Kristalla and its high-end sibling Potente.
This week I had the chance to attend a first look tasting at the trattoria and let me tell you that the secret behind their delicious dough is the 100-year yeast starter with which Chef David Berg makes all his bread and pizza bases in both restaurants.
The concept behind Osso & Kristalla offers an Italian menu with big portions so everyone can share. The shrimp pizza with caramelized onions had a bubbly and crunchy crust that was spectacular. I also tried the BBQ shrimps that came on a bed of couscous, a purple kale salad with apple, pancetta, pine nuts, and ricotta as well as the Steak Salad with rosemary balsamic vinaigrette that was delicious.
On the other hand, Potente restaurant focuses on a more upscale and exquisite menu. Some of their specialties are the Lobster Risotto with black truffles and the Branzino with crab. It also offers an elegant bar, perfect to enjoy a delicious drink like the frozen Negroni I had, prepared by one of their expert mixologists.
So now you know, if you are looking for new dining options in Downtown, Yo Mariana recommends you these two new proposals.
Openings & Closings: Oh, Hello Hamburger Mary’s, Farewell Triniti
Diners are encouraged to “eat, drink and be Mary” at Hamburger Mary’s.
Photo by Danielle Martinez
Funky, friendly San Francisco-based Hamburger Mary’s is headed to Houston. The bar and grille where diners are encouraged to “eat, drink and be Mary,” is scheduled to open at 2409 Grant the weekend of February 24, as reported by Sam Byrd, freelance writer for the Houston Press. The restaurant is famous for its food and daily entertainment including drag performances, bingo nights, variety shows and Broadway-themed celebrations. Over a dozen franchised locations exist all over the country, and news of the arrival in the Bayou City has been greeted on social media with lots of cheer and excitement.
After a weekend of private events for the Super Bowl, Potente officially opened to the public on February 7 and following on its heels is sister restaurant, Osso & Kristalla, slated to open on February 20. Having played the name game for months since March of last year, Astros owner Jim Crane chose to name the more higher-end of the two restaurants, Potente, in honor of his youngest son James’s nickname. Similarly, Osso & Kristalla were chosen for son, Jared, and daughter Krystal’s nicknames.
The menu and space at Potente is designed to reflect a sophisticated Italian restaurant reminiscent of an Italian villa and will feature a spacious bar, three private dining rooms and a special chef’s table in the wine room. Osso & Kristalla is more of a casual, modern trattoria with an open kitchen and an outdoor patio.
The kitchen team includes executive chef Michael Parker (Jim Crane’s personal chef and executive chef of the Floridian National Golf Club), with chef Micah Rideout (formerly of Tarakaan and KUU) as chef de cuisine, and chef David Berg (executive pastry chef of Tony’s and Phoenicia) as the executive pastry chef, according to a press release. Both restaurants are located at 1515 Texas in downtown Houston.
Fans of Cake Boss star Joe Faugno need not wait any longer for his cannoli. The reality television star is opening Carlo’s Bakery in The Woodlands next week. Eater Houston reported that a smaller kiosk version of the chain will open inside The Woodlands Mall and will offer 20 different sweet and savory options, including the famous cannoli and lobster tails. Faugno also told Eater that a full-line bakery is in the future for Houston.
Jim Crane’s New Restaurants Open with a Chef Dream Team – Papercity Magazine
Bryan Caswell’s Replacements Bring High-End Star Power
BY CHRIS BALDWIN // 01.31.17
The ambition of Potente, Jim Crane’s new restaurant, is clear in this tuna crudo with frozen foie gras, preserved lemon and caperberries dish.
The highly-anticipated new restaurants from Houston Astros owner Jim Crane are set to quietly open this week with a powerhouse new kitchen team, PaperCity has learned. In a week of Super happenings, the one that happens almost under the radar is liable to leave some of the most lasting buzz.
Crane’s restaurants have gone through multiple name changes — and a major chef shakeup — to get to this point.
In the end — after mutually parting ways with celebrity chef Bryan Caswell — Crane went with a man used to his exacting demands. Michael Parker, who helms the culinary operations of Crane’s ultra high-end Floridian National Golf Club, will be the executive chef. Micah Rideout, the former chef at Asian hotspots Tarakaan and KUU, takes on the role of chef de cuisine for Crane’s new Houston restaurants. David Berg, Houston’s own Bakery Magician, is the pastry chef.
This new chef team speaks to the scope of Crane’s ambitions for the new restaurants at 500 Crawford, the Marvy Finger mid-rise that overlooks Minute Maid Park. Crane yearns for the more formal of the two restaurants, an Italian fine dining spot now named Potente, to be recognized as one of the very best restaurants in Houston. This is an extremely personal project for the Astros owner.
In his first foray into the culinary world, Crane’s named the restaurants after his kids. Potente is the Italian translation of his youngest son James’ nickname. Potente means mighty in Italian. Osso & Kristalla — the more casual all-day cafe — is named after his son Jared and daughter Krystal’s nicknames.
These final names end quite the naming odyssey. When plans for the restaurants were first revealed, they were dubbed Brocca and Il Panchina before morphing into Osso and Kristalla. Now, Osso & Kristalla are one restaurant and Potente is the showpiece high-end spot.
Potente will be going full force for this upcoming Super Bowl weekend, but a restaurant spokesperson tells PaperCity that it will be likely exclusively limited to private dining for openers. With its prime location, right next to Minute Maid (the site of Monday’s night’s media day and Super Bowl opening night extravaganza) and its short walking distance from Discovery Green and all the NFL-booked downtown hotels, Potente has already drawn plenty of big game power player interest.
Yes, Roger Goodell may get to eat there first. But the plan is to be open to everyone shortly after.
Crane’s culinary dream team has been putting out test dishes since last week. The results show that Rideout’s Asian influences make an major impact on the Italian menu. This will be a cutting-edge modern restaurant rather than a throwback traditional Italian spot. (See an exclusive photo of the new food in the slider above this story).
Jim Crane’s new restaurants have gone through a number of changes pre-opening, but they’re here now — and as ambitious as the Astros’ self-made mega-millionaire owner himself.
For more, read PaperCity’s exclusive profile of Jim Crane in the February print issue of PaperCity magazine, on newsstands now. Crane talks Astros, fiscal responsibility, his vision for downtown and the new restaurants — and you get an exclusive look at his behind-the-scenes day-to-day operations.
Beaver’s on Westheimer
Though news of a second Beaver’s cropped up as early as January 2016, the anticipation didn’t start in earnest until we saw the video of a giant beaver statue being unloaded at the new digs. Executive chef Arash Kharat’s food porn posts of mouthwatering chicken fried steak, whole fried hot hen (a whole bird version of hot wings), and burgers built the anticipation even more. Officially open as of January 2, we can’t wait to check out, not just for the food (did we mention mac ’n cheese?) but for what we are sure will be killer cocktails as well.
Brasserie du Parc
We already love Etoile Cuisine and Bar in Uptown Park, so when we heard that its owners, chef Philippe Verpiand and his wife Monica, were opening Brasserie du Parc downtown, we couldn’t have been happier. Located in the One Park Place building on the La Branch side, where it faces Discovery Green, expect casual French brasserie fare—steak frites, moules (mussels), charcuterie, etc.—an excellent bar program, along with what we already know will be an incredibly popular walk-up creperie window called Creperie du Parc.
When this beloved landmark cafeteria — which had been operating continuously for more than 70 years— burned to the ground just before Mother’s Day in 2016, we were heartbroken. But good news, Cleburne Cafeteria is on track to return in the first quarter of 2017. And, it’s going to be bigger and better than ever, new beer, wine and steak service included.
Update 1/4/2016 at 1:15 p.m.: Yesterday, it was announced that Sam Governale would be leaving his tenure as operating partner of Fleming’s Steakhouse in River Oaks to head up a new restaurant group, DOCG Interests, with plans to open a new restaurant in the former location of Teala’s Mexican Restaurant at 3210 W. Dallas. Today, we learned from Greg Morago of the Houston Chronicle that the new space will be a neighborhood restaurant called Emmaline, and will be opening as early as March 2017. Anyone who has had a chance to experience Governale’s hospitality will surely be excited, a reason why we’ve gone ahead and added it to this list.
Field & Tides
We broke the story that Travis Lenig would be opening Field & Tides in the former Zelko Bistro space in the Heights, and they’re pushing to open this January ahead of Super Bowl LI. When they do, Lenig and partner Chico Ramirez plan to wow with locally sourced American cuisine, an awesome brunch, and oysters. With Lenig’s background (he was a sous chef at Mark’s American Cuisine and executive chef at the original Liberty Kitchen and Liberty Kitchen and Oysterette), we have no doubt that they will.
Chef Ryan Hildebrand has been teasing foodies with his FM Burger for several months now, and if you’ve had a chance to sample it, you’ll know that it’s the real deal. There’s a potato bun. It’s the right size. It’s meaty and juicy and suffice it to say that it’s going to be a burger you’ll crave.
When Killen’s STQ opened reservations in late November, something like 400 reservations were made in the first hour. For a restaurant that only has 65 seats, that basically means that they were booked a week out starting from before they even opened. Before you dismiss it all as hype, consider the fact that when we tried to make reservations a month later, it was still booked a week out. The reason? Ronnie Killen put his heart and soul into this effort, and it shows. This is his baby, and it’s damn good. His pork belly burnt ends made No. 3 on our list of Top Houston Dishes of 2016, and we are positively chomping at the bit for a chance to explore more of the menu.
If you’ve been going through Indian food withdrawal since Kiran Verma closed Kiran’s in River Oaks, you’ll be happy to know that she’s coming back this January in her new Kirby Grove location on Richmond Ave. Hooray, because that means we can go back for chicken tikka masala, stuffed naan, Kiran’s lamb chops, pani puri and everything else she does so wonderfully.
If you loved the old Kitchen 713 on Canal Street, the new location on Washington might be a bit of a shocker. It’s about four times as huge, with about four times as much staff. But not to worry, chefs James Haywood and Ross Coleman still helm the kitchen, and that means you’re still going to get their signature gumbo or shrimp and grits. They’ve kept all their prices super affordable as well, a big plus because now they’ve got an excellent cocktail menu to match the food. Bonus — until they get their liquor license, they’re letting guests BYOB, so you wanna go, like now.
Maba Pan-Asian Diner
Newly opened during the last week of December, Maba, located in Midtown, is the first restaurant for chef/owner Wayne Nguyen, who is of Vietnamese descent. The Pan-Asian menu shows a mix of dishes that blend Vietnamese, Chinese, Singaporean and more. And at first read, the items on offer are enough to get you salivating. Pot Stickers, Pho Fries, Osso Buco Szechuan Salad, Singapore Vermicelli and Pan-seared Whole Lemon Grass Tilapia, anyone?
It’s still super under-the-radar, but we can’t help but get excited about Ohn, Mike Tran’s Korean restaurant and soju bar that’s going in the same Chinatown complex that currently houses the highly successful Mein Chinese Restaurant and the recently debuted Night Market grill and curry house. With his knack for creating fashionable restaurants with affordable, high quality food (he also owns Aka Sushi House and Tiger Den), the odds are, we’re going to love drinking soju with whatever cool Korean plates he’s got in the works.
It’s going to be a wild ride at chef Chris Shepherd’s One Fifth, which will debut in the former Mark’s American Cuisine space on Westheimer Road this January as One Fifth Steak. The concept — five different restaurant concepts in the same space over five years — is one of the most imaginative that we’ve heard of, and also the most ambitious. With the exception of the first concept, each restaurant will open from September 1 to July 31, closing in August for renovations to reveal a wholly different concept from building decor, to staff uniforms, menu and wine list. So at the end of July, One Fifth Steak will close and make way for One Fifth Romance Languages featuring foods from France, Spain and Italy. And we say, bring it on. We’re ready.
Osso & Kristalla
Named after Astros owner Jim Crane’s children, whose nicknames are Osso & Kristalla, the two new Italian concepts — one fine dining, one casual, respectively — should be opening imminently in the 500 Crawford building across from Minute Maid Park. From Osso’s website, “The Northern-Italian menu will feature daily seafood selections, homemade pastas and the signature dry-aged in-house steaks.” Kristalla will be a more casual trattoria.
Update 1/4/16 at 1:15 p.m.: Osso & Kristalla released a name change on social media yesterday. “Behind the scenes, we’ve been trying to find a way to incorporate the names of all of Jim’s children into the restaurants,” says Andrea Andrus, the media relations representative for the restaurants. The Italian fine dining restaurant will now be called Potente (Italian for “mighty”), which is the nickname for Jim Crane’s youngest son. Osso & Kristalla (Italian for “bone” and “crystal”), the original names for the two concepts, is now the name for the trattoria. The concepts remain the same. Both restaurants are scheduled to debut prior to Super Bowl LI.
In case you haven’t heard, James Beard Best Chef Southwest winner Justin Yu is closing his award-winning Oxheart Restaurant in March, with plans to debut a casual eatery with an a la carte menu in its place two months later with chef Jason White as chef de cuisine. He hasn’t yet announced name for the new spot (which is why we called it 2.0), but if his track record is anything to go by, it will definitely be something to talk about. We’re secretly hoping that it’s going to have some of his Moneycat pop-up dishes, so Justin, if you’re reading this, we’d love to see those red oil dumplings from your Cochon 555 win on your future a la carte menu.
There are so many poke restaurants that are about to open that we’ll just call them out here and say, “Yes, we are excited about all the new poke spots that are opening in Houston.” The ones in our radar are currently Ono Poke, which should open any day now, Seaside Poke, which is still searching for a location, and Pokeology from chef Jason Liao, which is set to debut in a brick and mortar location inside Doc Holliday’s in Rice village this January if all goes according to plan.
Slated to open in late January, Presidio joins the talents of Charles Bishop (Liberty Station, Cottonwood, Southern Goods) with chef Adam Dorris, who is best known as the executive chef at Pax Americana in Montrose. As reported by Greg Morago of the Houston Chronicle, Presidio recently announced that Kenten Marin, executive chef of Shade, signed onto the project. Expect great beer, an awesome patio, and a more everyday approach to Southern food than what you’d find at Pax Americana.
Five years ago, we didn’t have a single restaurant that specialized in ramen. Now they’re opening faster than we have a chance to try them. On the heels of the recently opened Ramen Bar Ichi, Nao Ramen House, and Agu Ramen comes Austin’s most highly lauded ramen house, Ramen Tatsu-Ya, which is slated to open in Montrose anytime now, so get your slurping skills ready.
There’s been so much anticipation for chef Ryan Lachaine’s Riel Restaurant in Montrose that that he’s already getting mentions in magazines like Esquire and Food and Wine. Debuting this very week, Riel’s menu will be a reflection of Lachaine’s roots, incorporating his Ukrainian and French-Canadian with a look to Gulf Coast cooking and local ingredients for inspiration. Opening menu items include a 44 Farms Hanger Steak with Potato & Cheddar Pierogi, served over Haricots Verts and Horseradish Cream and Québécois Tourtière meat pie, and we are definitely looking forward to digging in.
The Branch Craft Beer & Foodery
A collaboration project between Kyle Pierson (the bar manager at Hay Merchant), chef Madeline Cabezut (owner of Mexican Girl Foods, former Head of catering for Hay Merchant/Underbelly) and Amanda Mixon, The Branch is going to be a cool beer and neighborhood hangout in Spring Branch located in the former Otilia’s Mexican Restaurant location. We haven’t seen a menu yet, but the name they chose paints a pretty picture, and frankly, we’re totally down for whatever craft beer and foodery these three come up with.
Chef Hugo Ortega and his restauranteur wife Tracy Vaught have a history of opening the kind of enduring restaurants that win awards, so we have no doubt that the debut of Xochi within the Marriot Marquis Hotel, where the food is described as cocina de autor (chef-driven creative kitchen) with a focus on the cuisine of Oaxaca, is going to be spectacular. Among other things, there will be several types of mole, housemade chocolate, and plenty of Mezcal. Hashtag “Yes, please.”
Last but not least is Yauatcha, which to date, has been very coy about releasing information on its upcoming Houston location. Perhaps the most high profile of the restaurants coming to Houston, Yauatcha originally debuted as a contemporary dim sum tea house with patisserie in London’s Soho area in 2004. In 2005, it was awarded a Michelin star, and has retained it ever since. Houston will be one of two U.S. locations being debuted (the other is in Honolulu), where it’s set to go into a standalone structure just across the pavement from Shake Shack. Authentic dim sum, curated teas, and Instagrammable French pastries all under one roof? Needless to say, we can’t wait.